The Guild: Seasons 1 & 2

The Guild
The Guild: DVDs

If you have never played an MMORPG and you are not a geek in any way, shape, or form, then this review (and perhaps this series) will be a complete mystery for you.  I recently ordered and watched “The Guild” seasons 1 and 2 from Amazon.com.  Got all the episodes for $9. Watched them in one afternoon, and enjoyed them and was sad when the last episode played.

What’s it all about?  This is from the official website:

The Guild is a independent sitcom web series about a group of online gamers. The show started in the late summer of 2007, and for the first season was financed solely by Paypal donations from fans. Since season 2, The Guild has been distributed by Xbox Live and Microsoft and sponsored by Sprint.

Episodes vary from 3-8 minutes in length, and follow the Guild members’ lives online and offline.

However, this doesn’t really give you enough information.  The idea is one that I am surprised no one else came up with – because its an obvious one.  It has been spoofed many times in different media (TV shows like “Big Bang Theory,” and comics, movies, cartoons, novels, etc.) However, this show is literally based on the idea.

And what is this idea? Its the idea of Felicia Day.  She plays the main character in “The Guild” – this is what Wikipedia has to say: The show revolves around the lives of an online guild, The Knights of Good, who play countless hours of an unnamed video game. The story focuses on Codex, the guild’s Priestess, who attempts to lead a normal life after one of her guild-mates, Warlock Zaboo, shows up on her doorstep.

Felicia Day played in a number of TV shows (including 8 episodes of Buffy the Vampire and 1 episode of House), and smaller movies before The Guild.

The show is absurd and silly and funny.  It is particularly heavy on the lingo used in MMORPG’s, so if you are ignorant of that, I can see that this will be a bit frustrating for you.  Also, leave your sensibilities at the door, because they will trample on you with double entendres, figures of speech, idioms, metaphors, etc.  What goes on in the first two “seasons” is when the people in the online guild spill over into the “real world” and interact with each other. True to the stereotype, these online gamers have very poor social skills and chaos ensues.  The status between “guildie” and “friend” blurs as they struggle to successfully interact in the real world.  Sure, at some point someone will complain that this series mocks online gamers and that gamers are not dysfunctional retards. True. But this series is not about the best online gamers, but the stereotypes. And that’s what makes it funny.

I liked these episodes and feel I did get my money’s worth. I would be interested in pursuing it further. At this time, I believe the crew has organized for a fifth season.  I think the show is definitely not for everyone….. but neither is MMORPG-ing.  The actors are pretty good. I really hate Vork and Zaboo is insanely annoying – but I admit Zaboo is played by an actor who is really doing his best. Felicia Day is excellent as is Tinkerballa, played by Amy Okuda.  Okuda does a very good job.

All in all this was a fun afternoon viewing and while I cannot recommend to everyone, I can recommend to everyone in MY Guild.

3 stars

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